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County to boost its tech abilities

CRYSTAL FALLS—The “brains” of the Iron County Courthouse complex are getting an upgrade.
    The Iron County Board of Commissioners voted to approve a fiber optics upgrade and computer room conversion and organization at its regular monthly meeting July 15.
    Iron County Sheriff Mark Valesano presented the proposal to the board. The work will be done by 906 Technologies of Marquette, and the upgrade will produce a 10-fold increase in capability, Valesano said.
    “The current Internet connection has higher bandwidths on it, but the internal infrastructure cannot carry the higher speeds,” Valesano said. “The proposal that 906 has given us will not only fix the bandwidth issue, but will (prepare) the network infrastructure for growth over the next 20 years.
    “These enhancements are not only long overdue, but would provide higher security and better traffic management with lower costs to the entire complex.”
    Undersheriff Tom Courchaine stated that the expanded use of teleconferencing, the inmate phone system and other traffic will run much smoother with the upgrade and organization now and in the future.
    “Right now, we have the capability of handling about 1 gigabyte of information at any one time,” Courchaine said. “This project will expand it to 10.
    The quote from 906 Technologies for the work is for $6,393. Valesano said the switch from a T1 line to fiber lines (virtual private network) about five years ago came with a substantial savings in maintenance costs, which can be used to pay for the upgrade.
    “The cost for maintaining the T1 line for a year is $10,800 and to maintain the VPN is $1,548,” he said.
    Board Chairman Tim Aho concurred with the feasibility of the work.
    “We looked at this like 6-8 months ago and (the quote) was at about

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